E-Learning that is More Dynamic? What Do You Suggest?

I have recently been asked to create dynamic e-learning.  The course in this instance is on how an Acquisition Editor processes a request for a book publication.  The course has a workflow, which contains clickable steps, each letting the user know what tasks need to be accomplished and any additional information such as the criteria that needs to be satisfied in order for a book to be accepted for publication.  What  could be added  or changed to make it a DYNAMIC e-learning course?  Thanks!

16 Replies
Helena Froyton

Hi Bruce,

Good question.  It is not very clear.  My client did not say much, which makes it more difficult to understand what she had in mind.   She said their approach is more dynamic.  It seems like she wanted a course  for prospective customers in investment, wanting the learner to have access to sub-modules.  I wish I had more information to give you.  I was trying to figure out myself what aspects and features a course should have, if I were to develop a course with what she was looking for. 

Regards,

Helena

Judith Blackbourn

Hi Helena,

In my experience, scenario-based interactions hold the users attention and lets the user participate in the learning process.

Many of our Heroes on this list create very dynamic courses, but I'm having problems linking.

Another location for some great examples is Allen Interactions. You have to sign up, but it's worth it to see all the demos.

http://www.alleninteractions.com/

Good luck!

Angie Martinez

Hi Helena,

I agree with Judith that simple scenario-based interactions do help make the content more relevant. Below are two links that offer some really great advice that may help make the courses more "dynamic" - as Bruce said, it's a massive subject, but maybe these ideas will help a little!

Hopefully you are able to pull a little more info out of your client to find out what they consider dynamic!

Good luck,

Angie

Annika Brown

Hi Helena,

Let me add my suggestion on how I understand a dynamic course - it is probably a learning element with an easy-to-get and user-friendly interface, where a user isn't stuck  on each step, but instead goes through the course material easily and effectively.

I can recommend trying JoomlaLMS user interface and course organization. On their demo web site you can go through several exemplary courses as learner and understand if such course structure would suit you to accomplish your client's requirement: http://demo.joomlalms.com/

Good luck!

Bryan Jones

Helena,

Some of the recommendations here are great. I agree with Judith and Angie about the scenario-based approach. I think that relevancy goes a long way towards creating engaging content.

This actually reminds me of a course I had to build for a client back when I was a consultant. It was for a course on application processing. The processors received applications in the mail and a strict procedure had to be followed b/c there were state compliance issues (yuck). The client's initial interest was to have me create a course with an overview of the process and an explanation of the steps. While I didn't have complete control over the structure of the course, I was able to push for more of a scenario-based approach. It sounds very similar to the process that you might take with your publication request course. Here was my process:

Ask a few questions about the process like:

What do the application processors actually do? 

What does success look like for them? 

What are the most common mistakes?

Create exercises that closely simulate the real world environment

I worked with my SME to create a handful of "fake" applications. Some were correct, some were incorrect. I then used these applications throughout the course and made the users process these applications, just like they would in the real world. For example, the 2nd step was to perform an initial visual inspection to make sure that 2 of the most critical fields were filled out. I had them pull up about 10 applications and the exercise was basically: "Does form X pass visual inspection? Y/N."  

While this may not necessarily be a "fun" topic, I think a scenario-based approach creates relevancy. I'd rather have that than a "Jeopardy"-style game that might be considered "fun," but focused on memory recall rather than the application of skills. 

If you send us more details about the process, I'm sure the community can help you come up with some interesting ideas. I'd be happy to help mock up some ideas.  

Best,

Bryan

eLearningArt

Helena Froyton

Hi Bryan,

Thank you so much for your reply to my post.  I greatly appreciate you taking the time to answer me.  I totally agree with you regarding the importance of relevancy and how well it can be present in a scenario-based approach course.  It definitely makes it much more meaningful for the learner, since he is presented with real world opportunities to use the content being learned.

Your course on application processing sounds very interesting!  Do you still have it?  Would it be possible for me to view it?  The course which I developed was on an acquisition editor processing a request for a book publication for a publishing company.  What I did was present the workflow on the left portion of the screen and once each step is clicked on, the user finds additional information regarding how to complete that particular step in the process.  Even though it does cover all the necessary steps, I think my client did not find it dynamic enough because of the lack of real world simulation.  How do you do this in Articulate?  Do you have one screen containing  the many different paths a user could  go to? 

Thank you for offering to help me develop some ideas.  Could you help me with this publishing course or on something that I am working right now on, which is on how to make online courses offered by colleges more interactive?

Best,

Helena

Bryan Jones

Helena,

I don't still have the course, but it was created in Presenter and Quizmaker. For the review of the applications, there were 2 approaches we considered: attaching the applications as PDFs and using screen shot images in QM that could be enlarged. We ended up using the screen shot method so that everything would open within a single browser (I would have preferred PDFs from a visual standpoint, but the users had low computer skills and we wanted to eliminate possible confusion). 

From what you're describing in your course above, I'd consider flipping your approach

FROM: focusing on information on how to complete each step

TO: actually having them complete the step, and then pointing them to more information if they need help with that step

That follows the process in the articles by Cathy and Tom above.

Here's a quick brainstorm....Instead of outlining the process, what if the user is playing the role of the acquisition editor and you then have them process 5-10 applications. You can build the lessons around typical use cases that these editors run into. For example, application 1 might be a straightforward application. Application 2 has a common error in the 3rd step. Application 3 has an error in the 1st step. Etc. Let the lessons you're trying to teach flow more from the scenarios than you pushing the content on them. Give the users choices and then custom feedback by choice (easy to do in QM or SL). Don't get too crazy with the branching. Keep it simple. 

Does that help?

Best,

Bryan

eLearningArt

Helena Froyton

Hi Bryan,

How were you able to enlarge the screen shot images in QM?  It sounds like a very effective approach.  I REALLY LIKE your approach for my course.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for the brainstorming!!!!!  Regarding the branching...should it be done in slides properties or through hyperlinks?  Thank you for helping me so much with this project!

Regards,

Helena

Bryan Jones

Helena- I started to put together a quick example and ran into a few snags with resolution and multi-images, so I didn't get as far as I'd like with a response, but can get back to helping you more next week with branching, design, etc. I'll start with a response to your question about enlarging images in QM. Click on the link below to see the 2 samples of how to enlarge an image in QM

SAMPLE

I created the example above with a sneaky feature when you're in "Form View" in Quizmaker. Go to Media->Picture and insert the picture. That will drop a thumbnail onto the slide that can be enlarged when clicked on.

Simple, right? As you'll see below, here is where I got sucked into a lot of trial and error. 

1. HELP- Does anyone know what the screen resolution is for the inserted media? I tried capturing a 686 pixel PNG like normal QM images, but am still getting some major distortion. 

2. What if I want to add multiple thumnail enlargements? I found a workaround, but am wondering if there is a more direct way to do it. As you'll see, if you try to add a second media image in form view, it writes over the first media. However, you can work around that by:

a. insert your first media in form veiw

b. switch to "slide view"

c. duplicate the thumnail

d. right click change picture and insert your new image

whew! 

Bryan

eLearning Art

P.S. There are a few other ways to approach this, such as linking to the PDF, inserting QM into Presenter and using the "Attachments" tab, etc. I'm open to ideas from the community. 

Helena Froyton

Hi Bryan,

Wow!  Nicely done!  It is great how you worked around it to get to put a second media image.  Thank you for sending me the SAMPLE.  It is good to be able to visualize it.  I can definitely see myself using this for demonstrating different forms.  I look forward to your next post.

Regards,

Helena

Bryan Jones

Helen,

I have some more time over the next few days to help out with some design ideas for your course. Can you describe the process that an acquisition editors follows when processing the applications? For example:

  • What format is the application in (email, document, etc)?
  • What does the editor do when they receive the application (standard process)?
  • Who else does the editor interact with during the process? For example, do they do background checks on the phone, google or linkin searches on the applicant, conduct phone interviews with the applicant?
  • What are the common roadblocks or errors that an editor runs into that are different than the standard process?
  • If you were giving advice to a new editor on the first day of the job and could only tell them 3 things, what would they be?

That's not a complete ID process, but enough to get some ideas flowing.

Cheers,

Bryan

eLearningArt

Helena Froyton

Hi Bryan,

Thank you so much for wanting  to help me out. 

The Acquisition Editor course was a course that I was asked to develop while applying for an Instructional Designer job with Pearson.  I designed it more as an EPSS (Electronic Performance Support System), where the user can view any of the necessary steps in the process and get the information related to that task.  Therefore, all of the questions that you are asking  me, I do not have answers for.  I did not get the job and have been using this course as part of my portfolio.  Last time I showed it to a potential  client, I received the comment that she was looking for something more dynamic and that is why I started this post in the community, so that I could get some ideas in order to modify it.  I will send you a link to the course in a PM.

Regards,

Helena